For over a decade, Justin Brierley has been hosting the popular radio show Unbelievable?, which is a program that features discussions between Christians and non-Christians. In this interview, Justin shares some of the insights he has learned about how to communicate gospel truth effectively in our increasingly secular world. And he shares some of the reasons he is still a Christian after all these years of conversation with atheists, skeptics, and other non-believers.

More About Our Guest

Justin Brierley is the host of the popular British radio show Unbelievable? The show features a Christian and a non-Christian in discussion about some of the most pressing faith issues of today. He also hosts "The Big Conversation Show," which features world-class thinkers such as William Lane Craig, Jordan Peterson, and Roger Penrose. And he is the author of the recent book Unbelievable? Why After Ten Years of Talking to Atheists I am Still a Christian.

Episode Transcript

Sean McDowell: Welcome to the podcast Think Biblically: Conversations on Faith and Culture. I'm your host, Sean McDowell, professor of apologetics at Talbot School of Theology at Biola University.

Scott Rae: And I'm your cohost, Scott Rae, Dean of faculty and professor of Christian ethics, also at Talbot School of Theology at Biola University.

Sean McDowell: Today we're here with a guest that I have enjoyed being a guest on his show for a number of years now and I'm glad to have him in the line of fire, so to speak. If you follow theology and apologetics, you will recognize the name Justin Brierley because he hosts one of my favorite podcasts called Unbelievable and has a book of the same title that we're going to discuss today. Justin, thanks so much for joining us.

Justin Brierley: It's an absolute pleasure to be with you, Sean and Scott. Thank you so much for the opportunity.

Sean McDowell: And you will recognize the accent that he lives in England and is joining us from afar, so that makes it especially fun even though you and I have done events together in person. Well, let's jump in and I want to talk about your book and the podcast and these conversations you're having now. So fascinating called the Big Conversations, but you've been hosting for over a decade this radio program and the book came out of that, typically a Christian in a conversation with an atheist, with a Muslim, with somebody of a different faith, and you've learned a ton coming out of these engagements. We want to hear some of the lessons you've learned hosting these conversations. But first I'd be really curious to hear about your personal journey to faith, becoming a Christian.

Justin Brierley: Thank you. Well, yeah, it's been a really interesting one and that the Unbelievable show in some ways has very much been parts of the journey of coming to understand my faith more over the, well, 14 years now that I've been running the show, but really my own journey began as a child. I grew up in a Christian family and I'd say that really faith became real for me in my mid to late teens. It was really through a great youth pastor and a peer group in a youth group that I was able to kind of develop that faith for myself. And there was one particular night actually really on a youth retreat when everything came together, if you like, the penny dropped. And it turned from being something where I just turned up with my parents really and did it because I'd kind of inherited it from them into a living faith of my own. And that for me was the moment where I'd say I really became a follower of Christ in my own right.

But obviously those experiences are great, but very often faith changes and evolves over time. I had lots to learn. There was lots of questions I had when I went to university, for instance, and I met some pretty compelling atheist there, people who had objections to faith. And I began to read authors like CS Lewis and others as I started to kind of explore some of the answers that were out there. And at the time I didn't call out apologetics. I didn't really know what that word meant. But as it turned out, that became something that was obviously important later on as I started the Unbelievable show because it gave me an opportunity to really engage with some of those big questions and objections to Christian faith. So that was kind of where things started for me. Yeah, and the Unbelievable show kind of was a natural continuation of that. Once I got into radio I decided, hey, I think this would be a great way of continuing to unpack and explore the Christian faith doing these dialogue shows. So that's where things began for me.

Scott Rae: Justin, for our listeners who are not familiar with your show Unbelievable, I want to encourage all of our listeners that if you only listened to a handful of these programs, yours is one that they need to listen to because I am not familiar with anything that's quite like it out there. Tell us a little bit about this, it's a combination podcast, radio show. Tell us a little bit about it and what makes it so different.

Justin Brierley: Yeah. Well, I actually began the show, yeah, I guess it was over 14 years ago, believe it or not. Initially it wasn't a podcast, it was just a radio show on a Saturday afternoon. In fact, it's more or less stayed in its radio slot for the whole of those 14 years. But essentially I was working for a Christian radio station in the UK. We don't have many of those in the UK and not nearly as many as you guys have in the States. But I went to the director of the station saying, "I think it would be great to have an opportunity at least once a week in our schedule where we actually model what it's like to have conversations with non-Christians because most of the people listening frankly, are constantly alongside non-Christian friends, neighbors and relatives."

And so, yeah, well I was given the opportunity to do it. It was a bit of an experiment to be honest and not everyone enjoyed it to begin with. One of the frequent complaints I had early on was we've got enough atheists on the BBC, do we really need them on a Christian radio station? So I kind of had to overcome some of that skepticism from some parts of the Christian community initially. But I think the people who enjoyed it really loved it and they wanted more of it. Those who maybe weren't so into it, they just learned to avoid that hour and a half on a Saturday afternoon. But it was really, yeah, an experiment that actually really worked because I just loved hosting these discussions between Christians and non-Christians. I learned an awful lot along the way. I think it helped me to think through my faith and develop a case for God and think through what the rational arguments are for Christianity and I think it's helped a lot of other people do the same.

And in time, of course, it developed not just a Christian audience who listen to these conversations, but also a non-Christian audience. Because once we did start podcasting the show, we started to pick up a lot of atheist, agnostic, people of other faiths. That was really exciting because then the show really became a kind of a meeting space for people of all different kinds to come on, to have to make their case, to hear both sides. I've just enjoyed being the moderator of literally hundreds of those discussions now over the years. And so that's where it all began really though.

Scott Rae: Justin, just to follow up quickly on that, I think to help our listeners appreciate the breadth of guests that you have had on the program, tell us who were some of the guests that you've had that might be some of the more outspoken, aggressive, maybe militant atheists that people might recognize that you wouldn't normally think would be on Christian radio.

Justin Brierley: Sure, sure. Well, obviously perhaps one of the best known in the world is Richard Dawkins who wrote The God Delusion about, I don't know, 12 or 13 years ago now and very much has been seen as the spokesperson of the new atheism and the show really started around the time actually that that book came out. I've managed to have him on a couple of times on the show. Once was a sort of an interview I managed to get with him at a live event. Another time he came on to debate the Old Testament with a Christian and a Rabbi. That's perhaps one of the most famous names in the atheist community who's been on the show. I tried to get him on recently actually. He had a kind of followup book to The God Delusion come out at the end of last year. But unfortunately he hasn't said yes yet to coming on again, but I'd love to get him back on.

Yeah, I guess some of the well-known atheists I've had on over the years, Peter Atkins is fairly well known. He's another Oxford kind of atheist. His background is chemistry and he's one of the more, I would say, dogmatic of the atheists out there. Whenever I had him on, it's always maybe good at entertainment, but I'm not sure it necessarily produces the most fruitful kinds of conversations. But nonetheless, it's always fun when I do have him on. Yeah, there's a great variety. I had Lawrence Krauss, he's a well-known atheist physicist from the USA who's been on it probably twice now over the years. Let me see. Michael Shermer, yeah, pretty well-known atheist skeptic. He's the editor of Skeptic Magazine in the USA again. And plenty of homegrown atheists as well of one kind or another. Bart Ehrman, a well-known New Testament critic. Because he actually does have family in the UK, I quite often get him in studio when he's over and we do debates on biblical subjects and that kind of thing. Yeah, and there are many, many more that I could tell you about, but yeah, that's just at least a few of the names that have been on over the years.

Sean McDowell: I listen to your show regularly and enjoy and especially appreciate that you really try to be fair to both sides and get to substance but in a respectful fashion. Sometimes it gets spicy just the nature of a guest or the nature of a topic. But I'm curious, how do you balance the reality that provocation generates a wider audience, but you also just want to foster good conversation in itself?

Justin Brierley: Yeah. It's always a tricky balance because inevitably part of the reason people tune into the show and download the podcast is because they want to hear something a little bit unusual, entertaining, dramatic, and having the dialogue debate format tends to do that. If you do get to really sparky individuals on... I mean just recently we've been running this big conversation series and probably one of the sparkiest additions we did of that was Tom Holland, who's a historian here in the UK, alongside AC Grayling, who's a well-known atheist philosopher and they were debating whether Christianity gave us our human values and the history of Christianity and they really went for it. I don't know if either of you guys have had a chance to listen to that one, but two people who really know their stuff, but who were not afraid of kind of clashing. And in that case, I so enjoy actually hosting those kinds of discussions because it's exciting. The adrenaline gets going, but you're also learning a heck of a lot along the way. And so I think it's kind of the best of both worlds when you get the right sort of dynamic going on in the studio.

There are times when it tips over too much into a combative or almost aggressive form of debating and that's when you know you're not doing such a good job for the audience because people are talking over each other or they're even descending sometimes, I'm afraid to say it has happened in the history of the show, into name calling and that kind of thing. So there are definitely times when it's not so good, but most of the time I don't want people to kind of... I want people to get on, but I don't want them to agree too much because actually there are plenty of Christian radio shows out there where people are agreeing with each other because they're basically coming from the same point of view. This is meant to be a show where we hear two different perspectives and most of the time it happens in a fairly fruitful kind of way. And, if it starts to get too heated, I'm just there to kind of helpfully move things along and steer things hopefully in a more fruitful direction and that does happen most of the time.

Scott Rae: Now, Justin, in the 14 years that you've been leading the show, have the kinds of questions that you're addressing or the kinds of questions that listeners are raising, how have those changed over the years?

Justin Brierley: I think that's a great question because as I say really the show began really I'd say at the apex almost of the new atheism when books like The God Delusion and God is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens and other things were being published. These kind of diatribes really against Christianity and faith in general. And so we've done a lot of those discussions over the years. We've kind of followed those conversations and then had some of those characters on and we've done a lot of those kinds of really central big issues around the existence of God, philosophical arguments for God, the arguments for the resurrection, the historicity of the Bible and everything else. And we still do quite a bit of that.

But where I'd say the conversation has moved on, especially in the last few years, is I think to some extent that new atheism has kind of run its course a little bit. I think the influence is starting to wane, certainly in the public sort of sphere. You still get a lot of obviously internet atheists who are basically regurgitating Christopher Hitchens or Dawkins, but actually in the public sphere by and large most atheist I meet are actually saying, "Look, don't judge me by those guys, they're too dogmatic for me themselves. They represent another form of fundamentalism essentially." And actually the conversation has moved on a bit to the point where actually many people and many secular people I find these days are recognizing actually the value of religion. They're not simply saying let's toss this all out and start again, they're saying, "Hang on a minute, what happens if we do away with religion? What story do we live by? Can secularism provide the foundations for our culture? Are we going to open up to other things like Islam or something else to fill the void, if you like."

And so I've been running more and more into secular thinkers, people like the person I mentioned, Tom Holland, but also Douglas Murray and some of those folk who make up what's loosely called the intellectual dark web. Jordan Peterson and other people who, although they're coming from a secular point of view, they're saying atheism doesn't necessarily have the answers for our culture. And that's producing a fascinating conversation where we're finding actually some commonalities between what Christians are offering and the things they're saying and some of these secular thinkers and speakers saying, actually, we need to have a better dialogue. We need to look at what religion actually might be doing right as much as we don't necessarily agree with the doctrines or whatever. And so I've increasingly been having some of those conversations in the last 18 months to two years.

I had Jordan Peterson, who's been something of a phenomenon, obviously the Canadian psychology professor debating can we have meaning without God essentially? And he came on not as a Christian per se, but nonetheless sounding for all the world like a Christian apologist at points in that discussion. Very recently, I had Douglas Murray on my show with a brilliant young Christian thinker called Esther O'Reilly. And Douglas Murray, a very clever intellectual writer, thinker, an atheistic himself but he describes himself as a Christian atheist. Again, he doesn't have any time for the kind of dismissal of Christian religion. He says, actually, "If we lost Christianity, we would lose the thing that's really bound our culture together." And so we just had the most fascinating discussion with him on almost his yearning actually for Christianity, how he wishes he could be a Christian.

And so those are very different conversations to the ones we were having 10 years ago. I just think it's a sign of the way that our culture is actually moving and realizing what we might be missing if we jettison Christianity.

Sean McDowell: Would you say you're encouraged by where the conversation is going or discouraged, or is it just a change and that's the nature of the world we live in?

Justin Brierley: Well certainly it's always a change and you can never predict where things will go necessarily. But I am actually encouraged by this in as much as it didn't take long, I think, for the luster to fade on this new atheist project. It's been so interesting actually to watch the way that various parts of that movement have more or less self imploded as they've kind of come to realize that, well just saying God is dead isn't enough because actually it turns out they can't agree amongst themselves about what the next best thing to do is because they all disagree on issues around LGBT or freedom of speech or whatever it might be.

I think what it teaches us is that you can tear down Christianity, you can tear down religion, but we all have to live in something. We all have to have a story, a narrative that drives our life. And you soon realize that people kind of... it's not long before actually people realize maybe there was something in this Christianity thing. Maybe the kind of purpose and direction that's given people for literally millennia isn't something we can simply throw out so quickly. So I'm quite encouraged by that and I think there's a huge opportunity actually because we're living in a culture where people are so materially in a sense wealthy. We've got huge technological advance. We're incredibly distracted and diverted and entertained at every moment in our life now thanks to our smart phones and Netflix and everything else. And yet we live in this culture which is absolutely crying out and thirsty for meaning. The church, I think, still has in front of it an enormous opportunity to speak into that void. It turns out that secularism isn't going to do the job. I think actually it's an amazing opportunity we've got presented before us.

Sean McDowell: I heard a debate with Christopher Hitchens a number of years ago and he was asked, "Do you find any evidence for the Christian faith compelling at all? If you had to pick one, what would you pick?" And he said, "You know, the fine tuning kind of gives me a little bit of pause." I'm curious, in the conversations you've hosted and you've been in, do any consistent arguments or issues come up that just seem the most difficult for skeptics and atheists to deal with or at least get their attention and give them pause?

Justin Brierley: Yeah. I mean that's definitely one that certainly has come up a number of times, the fine tuning, and I personally find it a fascinating and interesting argument myself. I remember having an Oxford atheist professor, Peter Millican on the show. He actually did a debate with William Lane Craig as part of the tour that I helped to organize in the UK. And he also said that. He said, "If there's one argument that I've really had to struggle with as an atheist, it's the fine tuning of the universe." He recognized the power of that argument.

But the one I'd say that for me I've always found the most compelling personally is the moral argument. Again, just briefly, for those who maybe aren't familiar with it, it's simply this idea that we all recognize that there are certain values and duties that exist. Most of us do believe in the idea that there is such a thing as good and evil, that there are ways we should treat each other and ways we shouldn't treat each other. And that these aren't simply relativistic, they're not simply the byproduct of a given time or culture. That if say racism is wrong, well that's always been wrong. It's not just happens to be wrong today, but it was fine the other day. I generally find that most atheists and skeptics, whether they like it or not, find it difficult to disagree with that.

Of course the next question is, well, if ultimately reality is simply composed of matter in motion, where on earth does this moral realm exist? Where does this objective realm of moral values and duties come from? And for me, I've always found theism, God, a really great explanation for that, a consistent explanation. And I found naturalism, the idea that all that ultimately exists is matter in motion, doesn't make sense of that most basic intuition we have that there really are right and wrong ways to live in the world. And I think that comes out in all kinds of different ways. So often a conversation might go in the direction of issues around justice and human rights.

I meet many atheist who are very passionate about those issues, but when I asked them, "Well, upon what basis do you stand on that base? What's the grounding for believing that we all have this inherent dignity and value?" That's the watchword of many of my humanist friends, we all have this intrinsic value and dignity. But if we are just ultimately a bag of molecules, why am I bound to treat you in that way? And I think for me because it's an argument that goes to the center of who we are and what we value, it's even more powerful than those kind of quite grand scientific arguments like the fine tuning of the universe because it's something that it's hard not to recognize within ourselves. For me that's always been one of the most powerful arguments. If I'm honest, I think I've seen more people actually crossed the line ultimately to theism, to Christianity because of that argument than actually things like fine tuning of the universe.

Sean McDowell: Wow. That's very, very interesting.

Scott Rae: Justin, let me turn Sean's question on its head and ask you to take the arguments that you think have been the most difficult for your Christian guests or your theists guests to answer, what have those been?

Justin Brierley: I mean, in some form or another it often revolves around the problem of evil and suffering. But I'd say that the toughest form of that question is very often when the finger gets pointed at God himself and especially the Old Testament. I think where Christians often get unstuck is when they're forced to kind of confront some of those difficult passages in the Old Testament where God appears to be commanding the slaughter of men, women and children and those sorts of passages that with warfare and slavery and all that. I think that one is tough. It's one where I'm still putting together the pieces of how I understand scripture in the big sweep of this narrative and everything else.

Just literally this weekend I was conducting my youth group and we've got a couple of young guys in the Sunday youth group who are asking kind of difficult questions and we were talking about the story of Moses, the call of Moses. That was our subject for the Sunday. And their first question was, "Yeah, but what about when God commanded the newborn children to die?" They were kind of talking about the Passover events and so on. And I kind of had to sit them down and we've kind of went through it and I think we got somewhere, but it is a tough question. There's no doubt that those issues seem to be front and center a lot of the time when I do a discussion with an atheist. If we're getting somewhere maybe in the conversation, maybe they're recognizing that there's something in this whole God thing, one of the first things they will often reach for as an objection is, "Yeah, but don't ask me to believe in the God of the Bible because look at what happened there." So I think that's maybe one of the toughest ones and one that I've certainly spent quite a bit of time looking at different ways in which you can approach that kind of objection.

Scott Rae: I wonder too when you say suffering and the problem of evil if the issue of natural evil, sort of these indiscriminate hurricanes, earthquakes, typhoons, I've heard that as a very common objection to the goodness of God. Not things you can point at any specific person, but you can point at God being the sovereign of the universe and yet how do you answer some of those questions that have to do with natural evil? Do you find that to be a particularly challenging area for some of your Christian guests?

Justin Brierley: Yeah. I mean absolutely that frequently is one that comes up as well. So to some extent it's a little bit easier I think for most of us to answer the problem of suffering and evil when it comes to human evil because obviously we can talk about the fact that God has granted humans freedom and that the cost of that freedom is that we can use it for evil purposes. But yes, natural evil, hurricanes, illness, whatever it might be, earthquake, that seems to be something that's beyond human control and therefore you would ask why would a God allow a world in which those kinds of issues predominate?

For me, I find it quite helpful to kind of take a step back and look at the bigger picture of the Christian story there and to say, "Well, what is it that we Christians believe about this universe we live in?" And we obviously have a story in which the universe is out of kilter, something's gone wrong at the very center of it. There is this evil that exists and in some mysterious way that is linked to us humans. It is somehow linked into the fact that we've chosen to rebel against God, but it's set the whole of creation kind of on a collision course. So that at the same time that we see the extraordinary beauty of creation, the amazing way in which life develops, the cells that we're created from, we also know that the flip side of that creation is that those very cells can mutate and become cancerous. The way the earth is constructed and the way that the tectonic plates are able to allow the surface to be refreshed with minerals and the things it needs to be able for life to flourish. At the same time, those tectonic plates when they crunch against each other can cause devastation and earthquakes.

For me, the way I've come to see is that we live in a kind of attention of a creation that is both beautiful but broken and that we are simply called as followers of God, as followers of Jesus to live within that. To trust God within that, within that tension, and to look forward to and be part of that coming kingdom when everything will be set right, not just us, not just our relationships, but the whole of the created order. So for me those passages in Romans are central to understanding these issues, which is the whole of creation groans. That we know that this isn't the way things should be. We know that there is going to be a day when God sets everything right. That is the Christian hope.

But I think it's about helping the skeptic to kind of look at that big story and say, "Okay, I'm not going to probably convince you in just 20 minutes of talking here, but actually from the Christian perspective, we know something's gone wrong." As John Lennox puts it, it's like a bomb has gone off and we see the majesty, but the ruins of this creation around us. And for me the Christian story is about helping people to realize the way in which through Christ the whole of the created order will one day be set right but that we're kind of in that now but not yet of the kingdom that that is yet to come. That would be my rather long winded way of responding to those kinds of issues personally.

Scott Rae: That's a really helpful way to frame that. Justin, let me ask you another question here. You've even hosting this for a long time, I want to take this in a little bit more personal direction. What's happened to your level of confidence in your own faith as a result of hosting this program? You've been knocking heads and interacting with a lot of people who think things that are really different than anything resembling a Christian worldview. What's the impact that that's had on your faith?

Justin Brierley: Well, let me first of all say that especially in the early years I had a few sleepless nights. Very often having guests on the show forced me to confront issues I'd never even really thought about to be honest. Sometimes ignorance is bliss and if you're simply aren't aware of certain problems or objections hey, that's fine. But sometimes you're forced to confront them when you kind of engage in apologetics, frankly, of any kinds, but especially when you're inviting, if you like, the skeptics and the objections live on air. But having said that, over the years what I've discovered is that at the heart of the Christian faith there's this incredibly strong historic core which is quite different to any other religious tradition.

The events at the center of Christianity of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus were public events. They were events that were of public record. They were not private hallucinations or visions or things written down on a gold tablet and no one's ever discovered. And for me that's really important. And getting to grips with the history and the kind of the real worldness of Christianity was really helpful for me in the course of doing the show. And then at the same time discovering the wealth of the intellectual tradition in Christianity, some of the extraordinary philosophers and theologians who have given us all the tools to think about the world and the universe and God and just some of the extraordinary, I think, strong arguments for theism, for God from philosophy. All of that has obviously been a massive boost to my own faith. Not that any of this sort of replaces the need for trusting in God and having that personal relationship with God. But at the same time, it gave me the tools, I think, when I did encounter objections of various kinds to start to understand what those objections were and actually how to fit them into and respond to it from a kind of holistic Christian worldview.

And so in a way, as the title of my book goes, why after 10 years of talking with atheists I'm still a Christian, I found that actually it was hearing the atheist point of view, processing it, putting it through the mill, trying to get to grips with it and hearing some of the best Christian responses has actually toughened up my faith. So often I meet Christians who frankly run a mile if they hear an objection because they're fearful, they're worried that their faith may not stand this particular objection or whatever. In my experience actually meeting some of those challenges head on and being willing to kind of go the distance with them and really engage them, it's kind of that Proverb of iron sharpens iron. I think ultimately you end up with a far tougher faith that's not so brittle when you've actually confronted some of these challenges and realize that there are really good answers there if you're willing to stick it out and make the time and look into them.

And so in a way the book I wrote was really trying to put a pass on a little bit of what I feel has been really helpful to me in starting to put the pieces together about at the core of Christianity what are we looking at and why is it so defensible and why frankly does it make more sense of the world than other ways of looking at the world? And the prime one I kind of compare and contrast it with is atheism is naturalism. And for me that's so important to actually... that we're not simply saying, is there evidence for Christianity? We've also got to say, well, okay, we may not understand everything in the Christian worldview, but let's look at the evidence for the other ones as well. And when I actually look at naturalism as an explanation of the world we live in, the universe, our nature of moral creatures and all kinds of other aspects of reality, I suddenly realize, wow, Christianity stands up really well against that actually because there's all kinds of holes and deficiencies that I can see in the naturalistic account of reality and for me that's been a really helpful process along the way.

Sean McDowell: That's a great way to describe it in terms of toughening up your faith. That's how I would describe my experience, conversations, debates that as I've entered into these atheist challenges and other skeptical challenges, part of me just doesn't want to go there. There's a nervousness like what am I going to find? But consistently as I go there, I discover Christianity makes sense. And even if I can't answer every question, it makes the best sense of the world and there's this core truth, especially around the person of Jesus, that just makes sense. So your experience really is valuable. You model that in your book, Unbelievable. In the podcast, Unbelievable. But you've also been hosting these events called The Big Conversations. Can you tell us briefly about those?

Justin Brierley: Yeah. Well we were in the fortunate position of getting some funding to put on some special kind of video conversations. Unbelievable up till about 2018 had really functioned really just as a podcast and as a radio show obviously. But it was really in 2018 we got our video side really going through these Big Conversation video discussion series in which we brought some of the biggest thinkers across the Christian and atheist world together to debate some of the biggest questions. And so that, as I said, began with people like Jordan Peterson debating Susan Blackmore. We had in the first season atheist like Daniel Dennett and Steven Pinker and a number of others were facing off against some big Christian thinkers and we've continued that just in the most recent season.

I mentioned already Tom Holland and AC Grayling. But another favorite from the last season that we had was William Lane Craig, getting to sit him down with one of the world's most eminent cosmologists Sir Roger Penrose to discuss God and the big bang and the universe. And these conversations for me have really taken Unbelievable kind of to the next level because we've been able to engage some really fascinating people in conversations. And so yeah, it's been a joy to see that and to see the video side now developing. Because of that, we've been able to put these out on YouTube, we've got a website, where you can watch them all. That's been a really great experience because it's kind of opened up the show suddenly to a whole new audience by YouTube, which is just a huge, massive audience waiting to engage these questions.

And as far as I can see maybe 80% of the people who watch these videos are atheists and that's ultimately who I want to reach with this stuff. It's great to talk to Christians and encourage them in their conversations, but I also want to be directly making sure that atheists are hearing some of these conversations because you never know what might happen. And I've seen it time and time again that it's just a conversation has put a stone in the shoe of an atheist and it niggles away and you never know what might happen in the course of time.

Sean McDowell: Well, Justin, I'm grateful for your friendship for one, second year ministry. You really just practice what we aim for at Biola, which is just to think biblically about everything but be solid on the truth, but in a way that's soft on the edges in the sense of just being gracious and kind towards those who see the world differently. So I want to commend to our audience your excellent book, Unbelievable. If you're listening to this podcast, Think Biblically, you will thoroughly enjoy the podcast, Unbelievable. And then check out The Big Conversations. Justin, thanks for coming on and just be encouraged. We're praying for you, we love you and keep up the good work.

Justin Brierley: Guys, thank you so much. It's been an absolute pleasure to be with you.

Sean McDowell: This has been an episode of the podcast Think Biblically: Conversations on Faith and Culture. To learn more about us and today's guest, Justin Brierley and to find more episodes, go to That's If you enjoyed today's conversation, give us a rating on Podcast Staff and please consider sharing it with a friend. Thanks for listening and remember, think biblically about everything.